Young takes blame for winning score
Rookie CB collides with Weddle, leaving Giants’ Beckham open for TD
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Ravens rookie cornerback Tavon Young knew his responsibility on the play. Matched up with New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on the outside, Young couldn’t let Beckham get inside him, where he had no help in the middle of the field.
Things went bad for Young almost immediately. Beckham shrugged off his jam attempt just past the line of scrimmage and got inside positioning. As Young tried to get in front of Beckham, he ran into safety Eric Weddle, leaving the cornerback on the ground and Beckham all alone. That was all Giants quarterback Eli Manning needed.
Beckham’s 66-yard touchdown reception on fourth-and-1 with just 1:24 remaining provided the winning points for the Giants in a 27-23 victory, and was emblematic of the Ravens secondary’s woes after top cornerback Jimmy Smith suffered a concussion in the second quarter.
“I’ll take the blame for it,” said Young, a fourth-round draft pick who also was beaten on Roger Lewis Jr.’s 24-yard touchdown catch late in the second quarter. “I’ve got to make the play, make more plays.”
Young had an interception, his second of the season, but that hardly eased the sting of Beckham’s big play late in the game. Adding injury to insult, Young also got banged up on the play when he was clipped by Weddle, who was running out to the flat to provide cover on Giants tight end Larry Donnell.
“We were in man. We had low-hole help, post help. It’s just a simple combination,” Weddle said. “The tight end goes to the flat, I got over the top. [Young] was behind a little bit. I clipped him. In that situation, you shouldn’t be getting inside. One of those outside receivers should be inside. But hey, Odell made some amazing plays out there. You have to credit him.”
The Ravens held Beckham to just two catches for 11 yards in the first half, but that was largely with Smith and No. 3 corner Jerraud Powers on the field. Neither returned after halftime, forcing the Ravens to rely on reserve corners Shareece Wright, Will Davis and Young.
Beckham exploded in the second half, Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. scores on a 66-yard reception late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game to give the Giants the lead. Ravens rookie cornerback Tavon Young collided with safety Eric Weddle on the play and said afterward, “I’ll take the blame for it.” with six catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns. On his first score, Beckham beat Davis with a double move and outraced Weddle to the end zone for a 75-yard score.
The Ravens overcame that touchdown and even led 23-20 with just more than two minutes to play after Terrance West’s second touchdown run. But they could not answer Beckham’s second touchdown.
After Young and Weddle were taken out of the play, safety Lardarius Webb didn’t take a good angle on Beckham, and three Ravens futilely chased the Giants receiver, who was untouched on the play.
“We have guys who are fully capable of covering guys out there,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ve done it all year. But we don’t have our eyes in the right spot all the time. So I want disciplined guys back there, and those are the guys that are going to play going forward.”
Beckham said the touchdown was the result of an audible by Manning.
“He had a play on and saw some different coverages that you can’t mess with,” Beckham said. “He changed the play and put me in a perfect position to run a slant. I catch it and see one safety angling to the right. I know that for someone to be able to open their hips and run at the same time to run me down, they’re going to be very fast. I went left, and it all worked out.”
Before Sunday, Young had been one of the team’s standouts for his ability to match up in the slot and contribute on defense and special teams. But he faltered Sunday when the Ravens needed one more defensive play to preserve a victory.
“It’s just technique. I guess my technique wasn’t good enough on that play, so I’ve just got to improve next week. We’re coming back next week, and I’m going to come back harder,” Young said. “You’ve got to move on. Next man up. You’ve got to have that mindset. Be a dog. That’s what it’s got to be.”
“I guess my technique wasn’t good enough on that play, so I’ve just got to improve next week. We’re coming back next week, and I’m going to come back harder.” Tavon Young
Offense shows big-play ability: An offense that switched offensive coordinators from Marc Trestman to Marty Mornhinweg offered a brief glimmer of what it can do. The team recorded four plays of at least 20 yards (and two more big gains on penalties) after having just 11 in the first five games. The Ravens also doubled their previous total of two plays of at least 40 yards.
Three of those big gains were through the air. Quarterback Joe Flacco’s 70-yard pass to wide receiver MikeWallace was the Ravens’ longest of the season. Flacco found wide receiver Breshad Perriman for 41 yards, which led to a 23-yard field goal by Justin Tucker to open the scoring. And wide receiver Kamar Aiken completed a 22-yard play that contributed to running back Terrance West’s second touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Even when some of the downfield passes fell incomplete, the offense made gains. Giants cornerback Trevin Wade was flagged for a 42-yard pass-interference penalty on Wallace, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was cited for a 30-yard pass-interference call on Perriman.
The deep shots were music to the ears of the wide receivers.
“It was a great job,” said Wallace, who finished with four catches for 97 yards. “We had two completions —[the] Kamar one was a big fourth down. I got a penalty, Breshad got a penalty. That’s four big plays on vertical passes. We have guys that can connect on those as well. That’s the type of team we have. We have those types of guys.” West frustrated about TD that wasn’t: West had a productive day with 23 carries for 87 yards and two touchdowns. But it was a touchdown he failed to convert that haunted the running back.
With Ravens trailing 17-13 late in the third quarter, they went to West (Towson University, Northwestern High) on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line and again on fourth down. New York stopped West both times.
West refused to blame the blocking or anyone else for his inability to get into the end zone. “I’ve got to get it in there,” he said. “That’s me.”
On fourth down, West took a pitch and followed fullback Kyle Juszczyk off the left end. But outside linebacker Jonathan Casillas shrugged off Juszczyk’s block and pushed West out of bounds at the 2-yard line to turn over possession to the Giants.
“Theplay was designed to go to the pylon,” West said. “I wish I could get that one back, put my foot in the ground and go get it.” End zone: With interceptions by cornerbacks Will Davis and Young, the Ravens have picked off eight passes. Last season, the defense had just six. … The team played without five players who have combined for 20 career Pro Bowl appearances: Dumervil (five times), Steve Smith Sr. (five), Yanda (five), Hester (four) and Mosley (one). … Rookie defensive tackle Willie Henry was deactivated for the sixth straight game. … Tight end Crockett Gillmore, punter Sam Koch, inside linebacker Zachary Orr and nose tackle Brandon Williams represented the Ravens for the coin toss.